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Stringent surveillance on imported poultry and meat in place to safeguard public health

     In view of the three confirmed human cases of influenza A (H7N9) in the Mainland, the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department will closely liaise with the Mainland authorities over any abnormal situation concerning farms supplying chickens and pigs to Hong Kong, and take appropriate actions whenever necessary to protect public health, a CFS spokesman said today (April 1).

     The CFS spokesman said, "All live chickens and pigs, and chilled and frozen poultry/meat imported from the Mainland must come from farms and poultry/meat processing plants registered with the inspection and quarantine authorities and be accompanied with animal health certificates issued by the Mainland authorities concerned.

     "CFS officers will be deployed to inspect those registered farms and poultry/meat processing plants to ensure their management complies with the relevant hygienic requirements. Each consignment will be released only after the poultry/meat has been inspected and relevant health certificates verified at the Man Kam To Food Control Office.

     "On each consignment of live chickens, the CFS will conduct random tests for avian influenza while live pigs have to go through ante-mortem and post-mortem inspections in slaughterhouses. Only pigs that pass the inspections will be supplied to the market and sold for consumption," he said.

     The spokesman said, under the Imported Game, Meat and Poultry Regulations (Cap. 132AK), those who import game, meat or poultry without health certificates commit an offence and are liable to a maximum fine of $50,000 and six months' imprisonment.

     "The CFS will closely keep in view of the latest development. Depending on further information about the infection channels in the cases to be established by the health authorities concerned, detail arrangements of appropriate actions and measures will be formulated," the spokesman added.

Ends/Monday, April 1, 2013
Issued at HKT 21:23


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